We understand that most of the people applying to the program are teachers who have their hands full running their own classrooms. What makes this program unique is how much assistance we give you — we will do the work for you whenever possible.
You will be expected to form an environmental student group, meet with them weekly or semi-weekly, set up recycling services, and run two waste reduction projects per year. But we’ll do our best to make all of this easy for you. We’ll provide you with a list of activities for your student group, send you the contact information for the recycling service providers, give you the step-by-step instructions for how to run each project, and much more.
Because a project of this magnitude is too much to do alone. This is probably the defining feature of the program — Green Up Our Schools gives you your own personal sustainability consultant.
You will have a short phone call with this person once a month to check in and make sure everything is going well. We’ve done this before, and we will be able to save you from the mistakes others have made while passing on their advice. And if you need anything (“I want to recycle shoes! How do we do that?”), just ask.
89% of school waste is recyclable or compostable, yet most of it ends up in the landfill. Recycling saves energy, saves natural resources, and reduces waste disposal. Every year, the United States produces approximately 220 million tons of waste, and we’re running out of places to put it.
Imagine the difference we could make by recycling every school’s waste.
Feel free to look at our exclusive Green Up Our Schools Recycling Facts. Learn just how many resources are saved with each material recycled, why landfills should be avoided, and much more.
Recycling means turning your trash into a product that can be used again. Waste reduction means producing less trash in the first place, regardless of whether or not it could be recycled. An example would be to encourage teachers to copy on both sides of the page, resulting in the use of less paper.
This answer deserves an entire website on its own, but in a nutshell, global warming is the effect of the Earth warming up (also known as “climate change”) due to the presence of increased greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, such as carbon dioxide.
Recycling helps significantly lower carbon emissions associated with extracting virgin materials, manufacturing products, and waste disposal. Recycled aluminum, for example, takes 95% less energy to produce than new aluminum. Manufacturing 1 ton of recycled paper results in 74% less air pollution and 43% less water pollution compared to the manufacture of paper using virgin wood pulp.
Each school receives $2,000 over the course of the 3-year program, which may be used for anything that promotes the success of the program and reduces waste.
This may include buying recycling bins, reusable utensils and containers for the school cafeteria, recycling services provided by a commercial waste hauler, commercial composting services or the supplies needed to run an onsite composting system, compensation for extra time spent on the program by the teacher in charge, etc.
All of these issues are important and your school is encouraged to address them. However, the Green Up Our Schools program focuses solely on solid waste reduction and recycling.